Book Review: Never Slow Dance With a Zombie by E. Van Lowe

Never Slow Dance with a Zombie
By: E. Van Lowe
Publisher: Tor, 2009
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased by Reviewer

I was a bit skeptical going into this one. I had picked the book up several times and had always discarded it for something else. However, the last time I was book shopping I decided I should just give it a shot. I am not a major fan of zombie stories, but it seems that they are picking up steam in the recent supernatural influx into the literary world. Yes, I know supernatural books have always been around, but it seems like more are cropping up every day. I couldn’t be happier. I’m like a kid in a candy store! However, I digress back to the zombies….

Margot Jean Johnson is your average teenager. She spends her time with her best friend, crushes on the hottest boy in school, and attempts to elevate her social status. However, that’s a little hard to do with Amanda Culpepper, the queen bee of Salesian High in her way. Margot and Amanda go way back in their bitterness for one another – all the way back to 7th grade. As Margot begins her Junior year she refuses to allow Amanda to continue to rule the social calendar with an iron fist and vows to fight back. That would be a lot easier if her best friend wasn’t crusading to the make world a better place and she could lose the dork who is enamored with her. To make matters worse, Margot is a slight bit on the chubby side so no matter how hard she tries she just can’t outcute that pesky Amanda.

Then one fateful evening everything changes. On the night of the school’s carnival, anybody who’s anybody is in attendance – which pretty much means that Margot and her best friend, Sybil, are not there. This time being a nobody is a good thing. Everyone who attended the carnival has been transformed into a zombie. How could this have happened? The undead begin to roam the halls of Salesian High in the same cliques they had in life, but now there is no tardiness, no disrespectful behavior, no normal teenage behavior. Margot and Sybil are ecstatic at first; they have full run of the school to achieve all their wildest dreams. However, their happiness is not to last. Are there other non-zombies hiding out in the school? Who caused the whole problem anyway? Is there a solution to the zombie problem?
Margot will have to search deep within herself to understand that everything is not always what it seems and learn to listen to her heart. Can she make the right decision before it’s too late?

I loved the character of Margot. She is strong and real; I also liked how the author didn’t make her perfect in every single way. Margot has lots of flaws, but in the end her spunk will win you over. I also have to admit I developed a tiny literary crush on her dorky admirer, Baron. I’d be interested to see if anyone else comes away with the same feelings. E. Van Lowe is a wonderful writer who kept me in suspense and stitches throughout the entire book. I highly recommend this one.

Summary from Amazon:
Romy and Michelle’s Hight School Reunion meets Night of the Living Deadin this laugh-out-loud debut YA novel by Emmy Award-nominated TV writer E. Van Lowe
Principal Taft’s 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie 

Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won’t attack other zombies.
Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.
Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.

On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, most important, have boyfriends. Three years later, they haven’t accomplished a thing!

Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive….